Is Mediation a Better Option Than Uncontested Divorce?
When it is time to end a marriage, the first instinct of many spouses is to resolve divorce terms as quickly and painlessly as possible. Accomplishing that goal can be trickier than it seems at first, since it involves choosing from several available dispute resolution options.
Two common alternatives to traditional matrimonial litigation are mediation and uncontested divorce. In mediation, the parties work to resolve the details of their divorce under the guidance of a qualified, neutral third party. Once consensus is reached, the parties submit an executed marital settlement agreement for the court’s approval. By contrast, uncontested divorce under New York law involves one spouse filing a summons and completing a series of forms setting out terms for custody, visitation, alimony and property division. If the other spouse doesn’t object to any of the submitted terms, the marriage dissolution order will adopt them. Should a dispute arise, the divorce becomes contested.
Whether you are considering mediation or uncontested divorce, your priorities should include:
- Protecting your interests — Divorce triggers a great deal of emotional and financial turmoil, so it’s understandable that many husbands and wives might not want to contest the terms put forward by their spouse. However, once the order is entered, obtaining a significant change can be very difficult. Mediation offers you a way to avoid sacrificing key interests just to “get things over with.”
- Anticipating future needs —In the span of one to three sessions, a seasoned mediator usually can help each side understand the legal merits of their positions and how decisions made now might have effects years down the road.
- Avoiding unnecessary delays — Couples who enter into divorce mediation often do so without a plan stating how the discussions should proceed and what steps should be taken if the process isn’t completed by a set deadline. If you believe mediation best serves your interests, you should find a mediator who will keep things on schedule.
Each marriage is unique. An experienced professional who understands each type of divorce process can look at your particular situation and objectives to help you make the best choice.
Solutions Divorce Mediation in Melville assists Long Island spouses when they are seeking the best method to establish appropriate terms for the end of their marriage. Please call 1.631.683.8172 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Our office is in Melville.